When a tooth becomes damaged as a result of decay or trauma, causing damage or exposure to the nerve, a root canal is usually necessary to restore the tooth to optimum health. Sometimes there is pain or infection (abscess) associated with a tooth requiring endodontics, however quite often there is neither pain nor infection. Inflammation of the pulp, or pulpitis, is often a hallmark of a tooth requiring this treatment. Within the tooth is a space called the pulp space, which contains nerve tissue and small blood vessels. This space is in the center of the tooth, extending into the root or roots of the tooth as well. These pulp canals within the root system of the tooth are cleansed of pulp tissue, and this is what constitutes a "Root Canal". Some teeth have only a single root, while others have multiple roots. Some roots are straight, while others are curved. It is the curved multiple root systems that are the most complex to treat. All Root Canal Therapy requires great precision. With meticulous attention to detail, there is a very high success rate.

It is common for anterior (incisor) teeth to have a single root, and for posterior (molars and bicuspids) teeth to have multiple roots. Following endodontic (root canal) therapy, it is very common for the treated tooth to become brittle and more prone to fracture. It is for this reason that we will recommend follow up restorative treatment with a post (anchor) and crown (cap) to minimize the risk of splitting the tooth. If splitting should occur, often the tooth can not be saved, so it is critical to crown the tooth as soon as possible following endodontic therapy. This is usually more necessary with multi-rooted teeth which can split between the roots. Once the tooth has been treated with Root Canal Therapy, and followed with any necessary restorative care, we can fully expect a return to optimal health and function.